Stop, Think, & Act Skill for Great Decision Making

Stop Think Act Teaching Resources | Teachers Pay Teachers

Acting impulsively can get the best of us sometimes, especially when we have trouble regulating emotions like anger, disappointment, and frustration. When you’re driving and see a red light, you wouldn’t usually keep going through it. When we see a yellow light, we slow down and act cautiously until green gives us the signal to go. In the same way, the Stop, Think, & Act Skill helps us to reduce impulsive actions by thinking through situations. I’ll break down this simple skill into 3 steps to help you to make better decisions.


-Imagine a stop sign or stop light in your mind.

-Pause and take a deep breath.

-Step away from the situation if needed and take a break.

-Identify how you are feeling

-Calm down your entire body and mind.

-Check out some emotion regulation and de-escalation skills in my earlier blogs to get through this difficult step.


-Identify the problem.

-Think through the different options for facing the problem.

-What is the best resolution?

-What are the consequences to your possible actions?

-Try a pros and cons list.

-Be cautious and take your time.


-Move forward with the best option.

-Go back and revise your action step as needed.

This is a simple tool for learning how to regulate your emotions, think through those hard issues, and act accordingly!

Stop Think Act stock illustration. Illustration of road - 30576619

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